Thursday, June 27, 2013


On Tuesday I reported on the status of chapel construction and that work is due to begin July 1. What I’ve learned through the years, is that with construction comes landscape changes, and with landscape changes comes mixed emotions. I share in the despair when I see a clear cut area that is created to accommodate a new construction. There is that wonder as to why more trees couldn’t have just been left, and the construction work around them. Construction puts a lot of stress on trees and vegetation that surrounds it. The city arborist and independent arborist look at every single tree on and around a job site and carefully determine whether they can survive beyond the construction. A lot of trees will need to come down as a part of the chapel project, but many more will be planted at the end. The talents of Michael Vergason, landscape architect, and his staff will ensure a beautiful campus at the end.

Michael has begun thinking beyond the chapel landscaping and turning his attention to a Master Landscape Design. I marvel every spring at the physical beauty of VTS, primarily thanks to Steve Slominski, Stuart Dahlinger, Victor Hurtado, and Kin Poon. Four men working on 80 acres is impressive and things this time of year always look so good. Take another look around and you might notice strange anomalies. There are four different types of street lights around campus, and none match each other. Brick sidewalks are used in some places while concrete is in other. No three trashcans are the same. Michael’s job in creating a master landscape design is to recommend some standards for the campus.

The first area that he has tackled and the Buildings & grounds Committee of the Board of Trustees approved is removing the small garden in the center of the Grove to give an extended view clear across campus from east to west. Then a garden or destination place will be created in the Aspinwall/Bohlen/Meade courtyard. Trees will be planted, the landscaping enhanced, and benches added. Two plaques honoring former faculty members Bob Burch and Mary Hix will be set in this garden. We look forward to quite a different landscape at VTS.

Heather Zdancewicz
Vice President for Administration and Finance